(BIVN) – A new task force, which will work to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Hawaiʻi Island roads, was announced Friday.
Mayor Harry Kim signed a proclamation in front of an audience of mostly government officials at the Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo. The event was held to announce the formation of a Vision Zero Task Force, which will develop a plan to make prevent traffic deaths on the Big Island.
Before the signing, Tina Clotheir, the Executive Director of PATH – Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, explained Vision Zero.
According to the county, the task force will develop a Vision Zero Action Plan, and “will be comprised of agencies and organizations with expertise in transportation, enforcement, education, public health, emergency response, equity, transit, biking, walking and vehicles.”
“The Vision Zero initiative focuses on thinking differently about traffic safety, to work together as a community for a truly worthy outcome,” stated a Hawaiʻi County media release issued before the event.
The County also shared this information:
- In 2018, 32 people were killed in traffic crashes on Hawai‘i Island, with another 1,200 people sustaining serious injuries.
- Hawai’i County has the highest traffic fatality rate per capita in the State.
- On average, three people are treated for traffic-related injuries in Hawai‘i County every day, and every month another two people die from traffic-related injuries.
- Vision Zero recognizes that we all make mistakes, and that transportation systems should be designed to minimize the impacts of those errors. When crashes do occur, they should not result in death or serious injuries.
- Crashes are not accidents; they are preventable—with the right actions and commitment.
- Vision Zero is committed to reducing the severity of crashes so that crashes don’t result in death or serious injuries.
- Everyone has the right to safely travel on our streets, no matter where they are going or how they travel.
- By committing to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries through a Vision Zero plan, we will create a safer and more vibrant island for generations to come.
Clothier will be making a presentation on Vision Zero before the Hawaiʻi County Council Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit in Hilo on February 4. During the same meeting, the council committee will consider a resolution to adopt the goals, strategies and policies of Vision Zero.
The resolution states that “following the initial implementation of Vision Zero in Sweden in the 1990’s, the death rate for motorists in Sweden has been cut in half since 2000, and pedestrian fatalities have also declined 50 percent since 2009.”